Richard Rohr on the Franciscan Way
Coincidentally, while we were in Europe, Richard Rohr was sending out two weeks of daily meditations on Franciscan spirituality in my email. You can review those articles HERE. I encourage you to read and meditate on them all.
I would like to explore some of these themes on Fridays for awhile. For today, here are a few quotes from Rohr for your consideration and discussion.
There are always new vocabularies, fresh symbols, new frames and styles, but Francis must have known, at least intuitively, that there is only one enduring spiritual insight and everything else follows from it: The visible world is an active doorway to the invisible world, and the invisible world is much larger than the visible. I would call this mystical insight “the mystery of incarnation,” or the essential union of the material and the spiritual worlds, or simply “Christ.”
Francis was fully at home in this created world. He saw all things in the visible world as endless dynamic and operative symbols of the Real, a theater and training ground for a heaven that is already available to us in small doses in this life. What you choose now, you shall have later seems to be the realization of the saints. Not an idyllic hope for a later heaven but a living experience right now.
Unlike the monastic life, which strove to domesticate nature and to bring it under control, Francis expected to live lightly on the earth, a burden neither to the earth nor to those who fed and clothed him.
• John Quigley
Francis fell in love with the humanity and the humility of Jesus; while most of Western and even Eastern Christianity focused on proving the divinity of Jesus.
Jesus never told us to separate ourselves from the world. That’s why Francis would not be a monk. The friars were a totally new religious movement. Francis wanted us to live in the middle of the cities right with the people and not to separate ourselves. That’s because he didn’t hate the world. He said you have to find a way interiorly to love and have compassion for the world, which may mean going apart for a time for the purpose of prayer and contemplation.